Conor Jordan’s first sale as the head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern department may not have been all he wanted. Several of the big lots by Mondrian, Picasso, Matisse and Pissarro failed to sell. But he already has a few business cards in his pocket from parties interested in making some post-sale transactions on the Picasso and the Pissarro. More important, he’s got the confidence and support of his colleagues who showed out in force at the post-sale press conference and consistently reinforced their faith in his leadership.
Here’s what Judd Tully said: “Given the less-than-stellar line-up, Christie’s fared surprisingly well, though as Thomas Seydoux, the firm’s top Impressionist/Modern executive put it, ‘There’s clearly not enough good material to go around for two sales between Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Whoever doesn’t get the right material is in trouble. It was a very difficult sale to put together.’”
With 70% of the tightly controlled sale’s 40 lots finding buyers at an average price of $2.345m, Christie’s evening sale was roughly equivalent in lots and sales volume to Sotheby’s Spring sale of Impressionist and Modern art.